When App State’s men’s soccer program was discontinued in 2020, I didn’t think much of it. I was obviously disappointed for the guys, (a few of them lived on my floor freshman year), but I understood the business side of things. We were in a pandemic, no money was coming in, so it felt like they were almost doomed from the start.
After reading this article, I am definitely more disappointed than I was before. App State dominated the SoCon, was competing with the top schools in the state and had some of the best players in the country. I remember when we first talked about Thompson Usiyan in class for the first time. His stats were so ridiculous that I could only laugh. I also found it incredible that the man who holds all of these college soccer records went to a little mountain school like App State. Yet with all of this winning tradition and large attendance at their matches, the support from the athletic administration wasn’t there. The lack of support drove away the great coaches and in turn the great players as well. I’m sure there could’ve been a way to make men’s soccer enough of a priority to keep them at the level they were at for so long. Now I give some credit to Doug Gillin and some of the current administration for keeping it afloat as long as they could. I just don’t understand why the athletic administration in the 80’s decided to downsize when they were at their highest. It was disappointing to read about their sudden turn on a program with such success and tradition and was built from the ground up by people like Vaughn Christian and Hank Steinbrecher.